Another Vacuum at TCN as Interim Boss Ends 12-Month Tenure

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There are fears that a fresh vacuum may rock the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which is trying to stabilise after the exit of the erstwhile Interim Managing Director (IMD), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed.

Mr Mohammed who vacated office after his 12-month tenure ended last Thursday, February 1, 2018, had issued his handover note to Engr. Lawal Jimoh Maman, the Head of Independent System Operations (ISO), the second business unit of TCN.

Our reporter gathered that so far there was no official head yet for TCN, either in an acting capacity or in substantive position. This is because the supervising ministry was yet to formally transmit any directive on that.

Daily Trust reports that the public company intermediates between the privatised Generation Companies (GenCos) and the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the electricity supply value chain had gone through several management crises.

The firm had suffered a seven months vacuum between 2016 and 2017 after the expatriate firm, Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Limited (MHINL), handed over to a local team which managed it before Mr Mohammed was appointed in February 2017.

The MHINL was hired under a management contract to reduce the technical losses of TCN and reposition it to compete with the privatised firms from 2012. The N4.2 billion contract lasting for three years was signed on June 16, 2012, while the management contractors started operation July 1. It was extended for another 12 months after it ended in June 2015.

By June 2016, the expatriates had ended the extension and handed it over to the local team of TCN after the Federal Government had spent about N5.6bn on the contract.

The local team, headed by the then Deputy Managing Director, Dr Abubakar Tambuwal Atiku, continued operation without any official letter from the supervising Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

After seven months of the local team’s operation, Mr Mohammed was contracted to transform the TCN in one year, beginning from February 1, 2017. Records from TCN showed that before his secondment to TCN, the erstwhile TCN IMD was the Principal Power Utility Transformation Specialist at African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Nigeria Country Department after joining them in 2009.

Fashola had in a letter dated January 8, 2018, reminded Mr Mohammed of his tenure expiration. The letter was acknowledged by the office of the Managing Director of TCN on January 12, 2018, Daily Trust gathered.

An initial circular from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was issued on December 4, 2017 to respective ministries, departments and agencies directing their heads to keep to the dates of expiration of their tenure in office. It also said the ministers should oversee the adherence.

It further directed the outgoing heads to handover to the next most senior officer of the establishment, as long as the officer did not have any pending disciplinary matter.

“Outgoing officers are not allowed the discretion of choosing the officer to whom they would handover,” the circulars by the SGF, Boss Mustapha clarified.

Confirming the handover of the IMD, TCN General Manager (GM), Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, told Daily Trust yesterday that Mr Mohammed handed over to Engr. Lawal Maman Jimoh, who heads ISO.

Engr. Lawal holds a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering obtained in 1986, and a Masters in Information Technology (IT) in 2010.

On the choice of Engr. Lawal, the spokesperson, Mrs Mbah said, “Technically, when an MD is leaving office, it is either he hands over to the Head of TSP or the Head of ISO because they are the heads and are both equal. These heads are automatically above the other General Managers (GM) and the regional officers.

Daily Trust, however, gathered that the handover notes from the former IMD to Engr. Lawal did not specify that he was the Head of TCN. This is creating a vacuum already for the company which is procuring several foreign loans to finance the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Plan (TREP) that targets 10,000 megawatts (MW) wheeling capacity of electricity by 2020 under the 20 year Master Plan launched last week.

Source: Daily Trust

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